Back in early June, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio proudly crowed about shifting $1 billion from the NYPD to other parts of the city’s budget. “We think it’s the right thing to do,” de Blasio said. His activist wife, Chirlane McCray, said she saw a “world without police” as “Nirvana.”
Violent crime in New York was already surging by that point. The reasons come down to policy. As I wrote back in mid-June:
New York’s crime increase cannot be blamed on increasing population. The city has been noticeably losing residents for close to a year. In the halcyon pre-plague days of Sept. 2019, New Yorkers were leaving because they’d voted in very expensive public policy and then decided to leave without paying the tab. Plus crime was already starting to creep up.
New York’s population loss has accelerated as COVID restrictions persuaded many residents to seek a freer life elsewhere, and crime made the streets more dangerous. Businesses shuttered thanks either to COVID or the unchecked riots, removing thousands of jobs from the city.
Violent crime starting increasing in New York right around the time de Blasio unleashed a couple of his other brainchildren on the city: bail reform and disbanding the plainclothes anti-crime unit. The former put criminals right back onto the streets after police nabbed them. The latter made it even less likely police would nab them in the first place. The two actions together empowered criminals citywide.
Then de Blasio responded to far-left activists’ calls, in the hothouse environment right after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, to defund police.
And a few months later, here’s New York in the grips of an escalating violent crime wave.
For the month of August 2020, there was a 166% increase in the number of shooting incidents across the city compared to the same time period last year (242 v. 91) as the number of shootings rose in all boroughs except Staten Island. Year-to-date, through August 31, there is a +87% spike in citywide shooting incidents (1,014 compared to 541).
The number of people murdered citywide increased to 53 compared to 36 (+ 47%) this August compared with August 2019.
New York in August 2020 saw nearly two murders per day. That’s inching up to doubling last year’s number and heading toward the very violent early 1990s when New York saw about six murders per day.
This surge is a direct result of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s anti-police policies and his hard-left ideology. It’s unlikely to improve unless he changes his mind—which is extremely unlikely—or is replaced.